Haiti suspends Oxfam operations over sexual misconduct scandal

Oxfam Chief Apologises For

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Haiti has suspended Oxfam's operations pending the outcome of its investigation into allegations that staff of the British-based charity sexually exploited Haitians after a devastating quake in 2010.

"If during the two month-long investigation I find a link between the aid funds that Oxfam received on behalf of Haiti and the crime that has been committed, we will.declare Oxfam Great Britain persona non grata, and they will have to leave the country without further delay", Fleurant said.

He said the charity had made "serious errors" when choosing to remove the alleged offenders from their posts discreetly, and without notification to the Haitian authorities. It is also trying to determine whether some of the prostitutes may have been underage. He said the Haitian government is "shocked at the highest level" about reports of misconduct by employees of the organization.

Planning and External Cooperation Minister Aviol Fleurant said on Thursday that Oxfam's operations were suspended because of its "serious failings" between 2010 and 2011, AFP reported.

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Oxfam Great Britain is one of four divisions of the worldwide organization working in Haiti.

Seven Oxfam workers were fired or resigned in 2011 after a whistleblower accused staff members of misconduct while working in Haiti. Since then, thousands of people have canceled donations to the group in anger.

Oxfam GB is one of four aid organisations operating in Haiti, and contributes significantly to sanitation projects, cash-for-work programmes and efforts to rebuild the island after it was ravaged by Hurricane Matthew in 2016.

Oxfam has apologised over allegations that staff used prostitutes.

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